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Question
Posted by: L | 2011/04/20

Hypnotism and children

Could someone please help with an answer: How accurate would the information derived from a 5 year old under hypnotism be? This particular 5 year old is alleging (or perhaps the parents are alleging and the child is confirming) child abuse, which I know is false.

Since I know for a fact that the allegations are untrue, how can this child reveal such allegations, if it is understood that you cannot " lie"  under hypnosis?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Very highly unreliable indeed. ALL information obtained with the use of hypnotism is unreliable, and is an unpredictable mix of possible fact, and imagination. It should NEVER EVER be used as a method to decide an issue so important as possible child abuse - only a careful and expert assessment by a child psychiatrist or child psychologist could shed light on such a question.
Where there is conflict between the parents, as in a divorce and custody dispute, it is sadly common for one parent to coach a child into making allegations of abuse as a filthy tactic.
And children are more suggestible than adults even without hypnosis, and need very careful, unbiased and skilled interview and assessment.
Anyone who says someone cannot "lie" under hypnotism is lying, or ignorant, or both. ANYONE may lie under hypnosis. What is worse is that, as the essence of hypnosis is to induce a high degree of suggstibility, it is extremely easy for the hypnotist or whoever is questioning the hypnotized child, to suggest and obtain the answers they expect or want, either deliberately or even without realizing it themselves.
Evidence obtained under hypnosis is not allowed in court in most civilized countries, and we would be extremely foolish in SA if we allowed it in court here.

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Our users say:
Posted by: L | 2011/04/20

Dear reader,

Thank you for the response. I would love to get more ideas on this matter, if you don''t mind.

As for " been exposed to inappropriate sexually explicit material" . There has been some porn laying around the house, but nothing overly dramatic (the child has been taught to operate the DVD player since age 3, in order to entertain herself and be less demanding). Certainly a possibility, but that may explain the behavior, and not the fact that she is either a.) making up the accusations, b.) accusing the wrong person. (apparently under hypnosis)

Your comments may be interesting.

As for the child taken away previously ... apparently this was not done through the welfare. From what I hear the grandfather, " cheated"  them into giving the child to them for adoption. This is almost certainly a lie. The truth is unclear as these people get very confused between the truth and a lie.

As for alerting Child Protective Services ... well this is tricky, since I am the accused here. I am just sorry that I haven''t alerted CPS a long time ago. Apparently the child is currently under the care of psychologists (hence the hypnosis). There has been rumor of DNA samples taken from the child''s bed, to check for my DNA. This off course I welcome, but when no DNA is found, (which there won''t be) it could be said that I " cleaned up" ?

The problem here is that child abuse is so heinous a crime, that it is extremely difficult to remain unbiased when investigating child abuse. It appears to be a matter of " he is automatically guilty, just in case" . I fully understand this, but I am now in this " bizzare"  situation, which is going to ruin my life.

Your comments are extremely welcome.

Regards

L

Reply to L
Posted by: Maria | 2011/04/20

She has been exposed to inappropriate sexually explicit material, if not actively molested. The only logical thing to do is an assessment by a child psychologist. Have you considered alerting someone at the Department of Social Development, Child Protection services? If a child has been removed from their care previously then there should be a file on them and a social worker aware of the circumstances.

The Expert won''t see your second post, if you want him to comment again you will have to start a new thread.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: L | 2011/04/20

Dear Expert,

Thank you for the very speedy response and you make 100% sense.

This particular situation is not one of divorcing parents but rather a mother who is " grabbing"  her son and wife''s child, which they cannot look after. (A previous child was taken away from them some years earlier) But that is a total legal matter for another expert.

I am the " uncle"  (in fact just a friend of the father) who is being accused. The child is very " neglected"  with parents who cannot show " love" . The child grows up like a pet with no discipline, no order, no stability, being sworn at, threatened, humiliated and with not even basic manners such as " please &  thank you"  and no ability to eat with a knife &  fork at a table.

The child started showing " sexual"  behavior at school by removing her underwear and " flashing"  and asking other boys to " get on top of her" . She is extremely cruel to the family dogs, (" baiting"  the family puppy to the neighbor''s rottweiler)

She is obsessed with peeping through the bathroom keyhole (which the mother just plugs up without teaching her that it''s wrong), dressing up etc etc

The reason I mention this is that being no expert, it may be that the child IS molested. Otherwise where does she get this behavior from? But what I do know is that it wasn''t from me!

My problem off course is that I will be in prison awaiting trail for probably years before I can tell my story in court, hypnotism or not.

Your thoughts on what may be going on with this child?

Regards

L

Reply to L
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/04/20

Very highly unreliable indeed. ALL information obtained with the use of hypnotism is unreliable, and is an unpredictable mix of possible fact, and imagination. It should NEVER EVER be used as a method to decide an issue so important as possible child abuse - only a careful and expert assessment by a child psychiatrist or child psychologist could shed light on such a question.
Where there is conflict between the parents, as in a divorce and custody dispute, it is sadly common for one parent to coach a child into making allegations of abuse as a filthy tactic.
And children are more suggestible than adults even without hypnosis, and need very careful, unbiased and skilled interview and assessment.
Anyone who says someone cannot "lie" under hypnotism is lying, or ignorant, or both. ANYONE may lie under hypnosis. What is worse is that, as the essence of hypnosis is to induce a high degree of suggstibility, it is extremely easy for the hypnotist or whoever is questioning the hypnotized child, to suggest and obtain the answers they expect or want, either deliberately or even without realizing it themselves.
Evidence obtained under hypnosis is not allowed in court in most civilized countries, and we would be extremely foolish in SA if we allowed it in court here.

Reply to cybershrink

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